Photo Credit: news.ulc.edu
By Bintia Drame
CUNY welcomed students into the new semester with a different way of logging into Blackboard, the online system used by many professors to disseminate course material.
The Blackboard update took place on July 3. With this new system, CUNY has students taking a longer route to sign into Blackboard. Before, students used to log in by just using the username and password they created. Now to access Blackboard students are redirected and required to use their CUNYFirst credentials. This update is a part of CUNY’s ongoing process to further improve Blackboard called Blackboard Enhanced. With this process, students and faculty across the CUNY campuses are promised better features, according to the CUNY blackboard website.
York’s Chief Information Officer Peter Tighe said that the process is “less forgiving.” He also said that this is a way to try to get students to monitor their York email accounts.
Incoming and current students seem to not mind the change if the service will work to their advantage. Vartan Torossian, a freshman and Business Administration major said the change appears to be positive.
“If they are going to upgrade it to being a better website, then they should do it,” said Torossian.
Zebin Zinia, sophomore Psychology and Interdisciplinary Studies major, had previously found Blackboard to be helpful with her schoolwork.
“Blackboard really helps me keep up with what I have to study,” said Zinia. “It keeps me organized.”
While the modernized Blackboard is welcomed by many in the York college Community, some have complaints about its downsides. Some returning adjunct professors like Speech Professor Humberto Martinez are having trouble accessing CUNYFirst and Blackboard.
“If you do not have CUNYFirst, you cannot get in there. I really need to have that access to Blackboard because it’s very helpful,” said Martinez. “They should make it simpler.”
Zinia also worked at the Admissions office last semester. While she worked there, she said they experienced some people coming to them complaining about problems with Blackboard.
“Before, the academic plagiarism tool would tell you that you plagiarized your own paper,” said Zinia. “A lot of confusion would happen and it was because of the security of the server.”
Zinia said she hopes these updates could be the solution to some of these Blackboard problems.
“Working at the Admissions office and hearing the same complaints again and again, I feel like if they did change it for our betterment, I think it’s worth it,” said Zinia.
Tighe stressed that any new rollout of software involves an adjustment period.
“We are going to be examining the new workflow, make sure that we are optimally performing the service in a way that minimizes if not eliminates any problems with students signing in,” said Tighe.
For any of the students and faculty having trouble signing into blackboard, the IT team in the library is the go-to place for help. The CUNY Blackboard website also has technical support and a Q&A section.